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6 Steps to Building an Effective Internal Communication Strategy

Man and women sitting in an office, communicating

To be effective and productive during their work, employees rely on internal communication to get adequate information. Whether they search for news via formal sources or through chitchats with colleagues, internal communication plays a huge role in the way they perform. Therefore, bad and unreliable internal communication can lead to issues within the organization.

Employers and managers often forget to pay attention to the way workers communicate. This kind of behavior contributes to a poor and unhealthy environment, which affects the entire business. To prevent that, you need to build an effective communication strategy. How is that done?

1. Review the current strategy

Whether you’ve actively worked on it or you let it passively develop, each company has a communication style or strategy employees follow. Like many things in hierarchical organizations, this too is built from the top down, meaning the employees model and copy the way managers communicate. So, before you get on with strategy creation, you need to review the current state of your organization.

Find out the strengths and weaknesses of current means of communication. The best way to conduct the review is by directly talking to the employees about the issues and benefits of current communication styles. Are they satisfied, what could be improved, and are there any ideas on how things could be improved? All of these questions will be essential in the new communication plan.

2. Get to know your audience

Communication strategy is targeted towards the audience: your employees. However, the biggest mistake you can make while creating a strategy is treating your employees as one. Whether they work together on the same projects or are divided into different departments, your employees aren’t a homogenous demographic that acts and thinks the same.

So, to successfully create an internal communication strategy that will actually work, you need to get to know your audience and their habits. For instance, a team of developers and a payroll team have quite different needs when it comes to communication. Taking their habits, language, needs, and roles into consideration will help you create a comprehensive communication strategy.

3. Set communication goals

Setting goals for workplace communication is an essential part of creating an effective internal communication strategy. Establishing how frequently, how quickly, and how information needs to be filtered through a company are all important considerations when determining how to create equity in the workplace. There should also be conversations about how employees can access and use messages that are sent out by their managers and what appropriate outlets should be used for delivery purposes. This way, everyone has the same opportunity to engage with colleagues or receive pertinent news across departments. Asking these questions ahead of time will help ensure that everyone is on the same page about how organisational communication functions throughout the business.

Each strategy you come up with needs a certain goal or multiple goals you want to achieve. Without such objectives, your strategy will be meaningless. You won’t be able to track and measure the success nor conduct further improvements. However, measuring something such as communication is almost impossible!

How can goal setting help there? To truly set communication objectives, start with SMART principles which will provide you with measurable indicators for your strategy. These success indicators will help you shape your strategy and make it relevant to your employees.

4. Choose suitable channels

Face-to-face communication with employees is essential. However, as the company grows and more employees start working remotely, gathering them in the conference room to share some news seems absurd. Therefore, picking adequate channels and means of communication will help you implement a communication strategy of your choice. So, how can you choose suitable channels and tools?

Up to a couple of years ago, companies mostly used emails for communication. Even though emails are still extremely popular, tools such as chat apps, intranet, video conferencing calls and similar are more interactive and useful. Depending on your team’s preferences, use some of these tools to make it easier to access necessary information and colleagues.

5. Facilitate social connections

No matter how much we’d like to, most teams within the company aren’t formed naturally. Due to that, we have employees coming from different backgrounds with different personalities, which makes it difficult to fit in immediately. So, it’s up to team leaders and managers to facilitate social contact and encourage their employees to get in touch with one another.

To successfully implement social connections in your internal communication strategy, consider organizing team buildings, investing in good and useful tools, and working on your company culture. Since employees are the ones who will benefit from a new strategy, social connections are vital for its development.

6. Include courses and training

Developing a new communication strategy that will be effective is one thing, however, implementing it successfully is completely another. You can create the best strategy for your company, but if your employees don’t know how to utilize it properly, it all goes to waste. So, how can you help them benefit from the new communication strategy?

Include communication training in the process. Teach your employees the correct ways of communication. Also, organize frequent presentations to newcomers and introduce them to the strategy and tools you’re using for communication. This is a win-win method that keeps employees informed and keeps you ensured that the strategy is being properly utilized.

Final thoughts

The core of every organization is its communication strategies. Since departments and teams need to work together to achieve the common goal, they need to properly interact and access the information they need. Therefore, these steps will help you build and improve your communication strategy which will result in increased productivity and efficiency. Try it out!

Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.

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Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger. Interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Love to share content that can inform people.